Fiberglass body floor installation is a critical step in a street rod build. Installation of the floor gives the flimsy fiberglass body its required strength and rigidity. But, do it the wrong way and you’ll end up with a misaligned body. In this post, we’ll give you the highlights on how Bob Hamilton does it. You can see it in action in the StreetRod 101 Fiberglass Body Modifications 3-DVD Set.
After doing the necessary fiberglass body repair on his 1927 T roadster street rod project, Bob Hamilton addressed the fiberglass body floor installation next. Bob decided to slightly channel the body ¾ of an inch, which set it outside of the frame a small amount. This allowed him to shim and square the body to the frame and also have the body overlap a small amount. The frame will be custom built on his plywood table and that will be shown later how to set up and build. In the picture, the body is off the garage floor with 2 x 4 ‘s and then he took 1 x 2’s to set the 5/8 ths inch plywood he’s using for the floor on. We should stop here and tell you that he set the body on the 5/8 th’s plywood and marked the outline of the inside of the body and cut it out so that it would be ready to mount and glass to the body. This was done prior to setting the body on the floor.
Now that the body was set and the 1 x 2 ‘s were in place, Bob set the cutout T roadster floor inside the body and centered the floor to where the gaps were about equal all around. He glassed the floor with two layers of the 1 oz. mat in three or four places on each side to set the floor. He let the glass kick before adding any more around the inside. Be careful not to bump the body when doing the initial glass work as this will or can shift the body and the floor.
Let Bob tell you an easy way to work with glass mat:
Take a piece of plywood or ¼ inch masonite and wrap it with wax paper and tape it with 2 inch masking tape. Buy and use some cheap latex disposable gloves on your hands. Cut the mat into whatever size pieces you are working with. I never go more than about 6 x 8 inches. Any bigger and you will have trouble taking it from the board to the work. Mix up the resin and catalyst, use a 2 inch cheap brush and apply the resin to the mat and tap the brush up and down with the end to force the resin into the mat. When the mat looks somewhat translucent and there are no dry spots, pick up the mat with your hands and place in onto the work. Then take the brush and work all the air bubbles out and smooth the resin out. Don’t leave a thick coating of resin on the mat. It will only crack and then it serves no purpose. Be sure you overlap layers if you are doing a long or large area.
The fiberglass body floor is in along with the rear divider. Notice how the glass is laid in against the body and the wood. After the body is glassed and rigid on the top – then Bob will turn it over and do the same on the bottom. This will sandwich the floor, firewall and rear divider together with the body and will become very strong and durable.
This is just a taste of all the tricks and tips Bob Hamilton has developed for fiberglass body floor installation. You’ll discover it all in the StreetRod 101 Fiberglass Body Modifications 3-DVD Set. This 5+ hour instructional DVD set shows how you can do anything with fiberglass: lengthen a body, install a floor, hang a door, build a dash — you name it, you can do it! If you’re building or planning to build any kind of fiberglass bodied hot rod, this is the tool you need.
Check out what all it covers on fiberglass body floor installation alone:
- Installing your floorboard
- How to properly gap and center your floorboard
- How to lock floorboard into body
- Notching floorboard and firewall for transmission clearance
- How to seal bottom of floorboard to keep out moisture and prevent rot
- How to make transmission, floor and firewall templates the easy way, while allowing room for future transmission access
- How to lift the now heavy body with floorboard attached in a one-man shop
- Installing body references and body mounts
- Fabricating body mounts for attachment to frame
- Why work from the center to outside where the floor is concerned
Just click here to order yours today.